1998 Acura Integra Ignition System?

Tiny
ELGRAU
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 ACURA INTEGRA
  • 1.8L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 190,000 MILES
Car began having "hard starting" problems ~3 weeks ago. Progressed to cutting out while driving (tach goes to zero and then jumps back up after a second or two), then stalling in traffic and takes a few mintes to get it to re-start. Seems to be "starved" for something as when you let off the starter it sometimes then "catches" and starts. Made a "wheezing" sound twice after not starting. I've replaced the ignition switch (electrical part), the coil, the rotor, and the PGM FI relay in addition to "de-oxiting" a bunch of the big fuse surfaces and a bunch of the wire connectors. All this has helped and now it stalls a lot less and so far as always re-started (prior to these fixes it could just not re-start at all until the next (cooler/wetter?) Morning when it would restart and once again run perfectly until the next "stall" (in my last trip from work of 10 miles it stalled once and took about a minute to re-start). Should I focus on fuel filter, fuel pump or what? Also, the electronic ignition module was replaced about 1.5 years ago. It's driving me nuts and is pretty much un-driveable with this annoying condition! Hate to get rid of it as mechanically it's perfect and drives/runs like new except for this issue. Thanks, Ed
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Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 AT 6:52 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So are you setting any code's?Also when it dies and wont start what are you loosing fuel pressure or spark?
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Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 AT 8:05 PM
Tiny
ELGRAU
  • MEMBER
NO: no check engine light. Since the tach bounces around erratically sometimes during the stalls, and in general it acts more like the ignition system is randomily cutting out. Also, it SEEMS like it stalls less (or not at all) when all accessories are turned OFF. But due to the seemingly total randomness of this issue, that could be yet another red herring.

I've seen this stalling issue for 98-99 Integras on other sites as well. I used to hold Acura's in high regard. No more.
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Thursday, March 13th, 2014 AT 9:19 AM
Tiny
ELGRAU
  • MEMBER
If you can tell me how to monitor spark and fuel pressure while driving (when it stalls), then I can answer your question. Seriously, if this is doable (DVM monitor some input voltage to the ignition system and? Hook up a pressure gauge to the fuel system), I'll do it. This issue is otherwise not able to be diagonosed. My long time mechanic gave up.

I THINK it's electrical because the tach dips to zero whenever it "stalls" and being in gear, obviously the RPM's don't go to zero. The tach is electronic, I'm assuming?
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Thursday, March 13th, 2014 AT 12:10 PM
Tiny
ELGRAU
  • MEMBER
Not "setting any codes" either.
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Thursday, March 13th, 2014 AT 3:05 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
As far as the fuel pressure you would have to hook up a gauge feed it thru your hood seal and tape to your hood. You could also watch your charging voktage to see if that dips down when it acts up.
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Thursday, March 13th, 2014 AT 7:22 PM
Tiny
ELGRAU
  • MEMBER
Turned out to be the Distributor body (i.E, the entire distributor needed to be replaced: $325. I was able to return the $80 ignition coil that of course comes with a new distributor total package). This was a top choice as to the problem on another "car expert" site. For the sake of other Integra owners, might want to check that 1st when you have these same symptoms. The hard part of course is getting a diagnosis of the problem due to it's total randomness of occurrence.

And no offense to thi site, but I don't feel like I got my $20 donation's worth of help re this problem. Several totally free sites gave much more detailed and helpful info (notably yahoo answers).
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Saturday, March 15th, 2014 AT 5:22 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I dont like to guess I perfer to do some testing to see whats going on and what the engine is lacking causing the problem. With random problems makes it even harder especially when I cant see or drive the car. Iam sorry I couldnt help you more 325 is pretty spendy for distributor rock auto has one for 119 plus shipping. I also have a 5 percent discount code for them. Wish I could havehelped you find one.I have ordered a lot of parts from them.
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Saturday, March 15th, 2014 AT 6:39 PM
Tiny
ELGRAU
  • MEMBER
Another Acura/Honda "experts" site HIGHLY recommended against installing any (cheap) after market distributors for the Integras as all the mechanics there had horror stories related to doing this. I went with the best. I'd guess that the $119 one is not OEM nor even new. Probaby re-manufactured. According to the experts, that's not a smart buy. Ed
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Monday, March 17th, 2014 AT 9:43 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
That one was new but not oem but if you needed a oem one there is a great website I use sometimes to get discounted Oem parts. Its called parts dot com I cant post the link thats why I wrote it like that. So for future parts check it out and see what you think. Thanks for sharing the info.
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Monday, March 17th, 2014 AT 10:08 AM

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